Today an article was published on KheloPakistan by respected Mr. Muhammad Asif Khan regarding another U-turn by the Bangladesh Cricket Board on touring Pakistan. He is of the view that despite this, the PCB should allow their players to participate in the second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League so as to avoid giving the impression to the rest of the cricketing world that the PCB is black-mailing the BCB. I would like to use this platform to explain why I disagree with this point of view and to express the perspective of a die-hard Pakistani cricket fan.
First of all, I would like to clarify that what makes me and many others angry is not the BCB’s refusal to send their team to play in Pakistan. What makes me angry is their constant U-turns and unprofessional attitude on this issue. If you have reservations regarding the security conditions in Pakistan, it is understandable. But agreeing to tour and then backing out TWICE is not just unprofessional, it is an insult to the PCB and the Pakistani cricket fans. The BCB should have taken their courts and their fans’ views into account BEFORE agreeing to tour, not after it. Now they are “considering to tour Pakistan after the BPL”, I would like to request the PCB officials to not look for a third deal, which without any doubt will be broken by the BCB. The BCB has played enough games with us, we should not allow them to fool us third time in a row. The PCB should now start considering other options to revive international cricket in Pakistan.
Secondly, after our narrow victory in the Asia Cup final, some Bangladeshi players were seen weeping at their loss and the majority of the Pakistani cricket fans forgot the victory and showed their moral support for these players and all the Bangladeshi fans. How did they repay us? A complaint was filed with the Asian Cricket Council by the BCB claiming that Aizaz Cheema deliberately collided with the running batsman Mahmudullah to run him out. The BCB demanded that the run-out be cancelled, five runs be awarded to Bangladesh as a penalty, and the result of the match be changed in Bangladesh’s favor. So much for sportsmanship! More over the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Haseena left the stadium without awarding the trophy to the Pakistani team. Now, as a Pakistani fan who has seen all these insults, I DO NOT want to see Bangladeshi players play in a future Pakistani T20 league. I do not want to see the Pakistani Cricket Team play against them in any future Bilateral Series either. Enough is enough!
Lastly, after the BCB’s first U-turn, the PCB still stuck to its part of the deal and nominated the-then President of the BCB, Mustafa Kamal, to become the ICC vice-president as a good-will gesture. We even sent our players to participate in the first edition of the Bangladesh Premier League. But the back-stabbing continued as the Pakistani players received their payments very late. Moreover the BPL media manager Minhaz-ud-din Khan accused three Pakistani Players (who were participating in the BPL) of womanizing and only took his words back when he was threatened to be sued. Even after all this, the PCB still allowed their players to be auctioned for the second edition of the BPL. But after the latest U-turn, I hope Mr. Zaka Ashraf sticks to his words and that the PCB does not issue No-Objection Certificates for the Pakistani Players to go play in the BPL to avoid further back-stabbing and controversies.
In the end I would like to say that the PCB needs to react strongly on this drama to send a message to the Bangladesh Cricket Board that these issues are not a joke, they cannot toy with them whenever they want, and that there are consequences to their actions, and I believe that NOT sending Pakistani Players to participate in the BPL is one way of doing that. I wish best of luck to the BCB and the Bangladesh Cricket Team for their future, as long as it is not associated with us.
The blog was first published on the defunct KheloPakistan.com.